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Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award facts for kids

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Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award
Presented by The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN)
Country United States
First awarded 2009

The Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, presented by The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English (ALAN), is an annual award in the United States for a book that exemplifies literary excellence, widespread appeal, and a positive approach to life in young adult literature. It is named for Amelia Elizabeth Walden who died in Westport, Connecticut in 2002 and was a pioneer in the field of Young Adult Literature. The national award is presented annually to the author of a title selected by ALAN's Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee.


The selection committee composed of ten The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) members (3 teachers, 3 university professors, 3 librarians, and 1 chair) appointed by the previous year's chair and current ALAN President for a one-year term with the possibility of re-election for a second term. They award one winning title and honor up to four additional titles on their shortlist.

  • Per Walden’s request

The selected title 'MUST:

  1. be a work of fiction, ideally a novel (stand-alone or part of a series);
  2. be published within one year prior to the call for titles;
  3. be published in the United States but may have been published elsewhere prior; and
  4. possess a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit (please see below for additional guidance).
  • A Positive Approach to Life

Submitted titles should:

    • treat teen readers as capable and thoughtful young people
    • offer hope and optimism, even when describing difficult circumstances
    • have a credible and appropriate resolution
    • portray characters involved in shaping their lives in a positive way, even as they struggle with the harsh realities of life
  • Widespread Teen Appeal

Submitted titles should:

    • be intended expressly for readers aged 12–18
    • have universal themes that transcend time and place
    • have themes that resonate with a wide variety of readers, regardless of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation
    • provide readers with a window to the world and/or reflect their own experiences
  • Literary Merit

Submitted titles should:

    • contain well-developed characters
    • employ well-constructed forms suitable to function
    • include language and literary devices that enhance the narrative
    • suggest cogent and richly-realized themes
    • present an authentic voice


Walden Award Winner and Finalists
Year Author Book Citation
2020 Berry, JulieJulie Berry The Lovely War Winner
2020 Acevedo, ElizabethElizabeth Acevedo With Fire on High Finalist
2020 Nazemian, AbdiAbdi Nazemian Like a Love Story Finalist
2020 Ribay, RandyRandy Ribay Patron Saints of Nothing Finalist
2020 Wilson, KipKip Wilson White Rose Finalist
2019 Acevedo, ElizabethElizabeth Acevedo The Poet X Winner
2019 Hutchinson, Shaun DavidShaun David Hutchinson The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza Finalist
2019 Khorram, AdibAdib Khorram Darius the Great is Not Okay Finalist
2019 McCullough, JoyJoy McCullough Blood, Water, Paint Finalist
2019 Pan, Emily X.R.Emily X.R. Pan An Uninterrupted View of the Sky Finalist
2018 Thomas, AngieAngie Thomas The Hate U Give Winner
2018 Stone, NicNic Stone Dear Martin Finalist
2018 Reynolds, JasonJason Reynolds Long Way Down Finalist
2018 Reed, AmyAmy Reed The Nowhere Girls Finalist
2018 Crowder, MelanieMelanie Crowder An Uninterrupted View of the Sky Finalist
2017 Zentner, JeffJeff Zentner The Serpent King Winner
2017 Glasgow, KathleenKathleen Glasgow Girl in Pieces Finalist
2017 Hitchcock, Bonnie-SueBonnie-Sue Hitchcock The Smell of Other People's Houses Finalist
2017 Sepetys, RutaRuta Sepetys Salt to the Sea Finalist
2017 Yoon, NicolaNicola Yoon The sun is also a star Finalist
2016 Reynolds, JasonJason Reynolds and Kiely , BrendanBrendan Kiely All American Boys Winner
2016 Niven , JenniferJennifer Niven All the Bright Places Finalist
2016 Shusterman , NealNeal Shusterman Challenger Deep Finalist
2016 Hope Pérez, AshleyAshley Hope Pérez Out of Darkness Finalist
2016 Graudin, RyanRyan Graudin Wolf by Wolf Finalist
2015 King, A.S.A.S. King Glory O'Brien's History of the Future Winner
2015 Williams , MichaelMichael Williams Diamond Boy Finalist
2015 Quintero , IsabelIsabel Quintero Gabi, A Girl in Pieces Finalist
2015 Halse Anderson , LaurieLaurie Halse Anderson The Impossible Knife of Memory Finalist
2015 Wiles, DeborahDeborah Wiles Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy) Finalist
2014 Rowell , RainbowRainbow Rowell Eleanor & Park Winner
2014 Flores-Scott , PatrickPatrick Flores-Scott Jumped In Finalist
2014 Whitman , SylviaSylvia Whitman The Milk of Birds Finalist
2014 Konigsberg , BillBill Konigsberg Openly Straight Finalist
2014 Smith , AndrewAndrew Smith Winger Finalist
2013 Green , JohnJohn Green The Fault in Our Stars Winner
2013 Sáenz , Benjamin AlireBenjamin Alire Sáenz Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Finalist
2013 King , A. S.A. S. King Ask the Passengers Finalist
2013 Schrefer , EliotEliot Schrefer Endangered Finalist
2012 Myracle , LaurenLauren Myracle Shine Winner
2012 Sharenow , RobertRobert Sharenow Berlin Boxing Club Finalist
2012 Young , MoiraMoira Young Blood Red Road Finalist
2012 Sepetys , RutaRuta Sepetys Between Shades of Gray Finalist
2012 McCall , Guadalupe GarciaGuadalupe Garcia McCall Under the Mesquite Finalist
2011 Stork , Francisco X.Francisco X. Stork The Last Summer of the Death Warriors Winner
2011 Sonnenblick , JordanJordan Sonnenblick After Ever After Finalist
2011 Peña , Matt de laMatt de la Peña I Will Save You Finalist
2011 Quick , MatthewMatthew Quick Sorta Like a Rockstar Finalist
2011 Chandler , KristenKristen Chandler Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me Finalist
2010 Cashore , KristinKristin Cashore Fire Winner
2010 Stork , Francisco X.Francisco X. Stork Marcelo in the Real World Finalist
2010 Yancey , RickRick Yancey The Monstrumologist Finalist
2010 Chen Headley , JustinaJustina Chen Headley North of Beautiful Finalist
2010 Alexander , Jill S.Jill S. Alexander The Sweetheart of Prosper County Finalist
2009 Kluger , SteveSteve Kluger My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park Winner
2009 Woodson , JacquelineJacqueline Woodson After Tupac and D Foster Finalist
2009 Cashore , KristinKristin Cashore Graceling Finalist
2009 Gaiman , NeilNeil Gaiman The Graveyard Book Finalist
2009 Valentine , JennyJenny Valentine Me, the Missing, and the Dead
(originally Finding Violet Park, UK, 2007)
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